AboveTopSecret.com is the Internet's largest and most popular discussion board community dedicated to the intelligent exchange of ideas and debate on a wide range of "alternative topics" such as conspiracies, UFO's, paranormal, secret societies, political scandals, new world order, terrorism, and dozens of related topics with an impressive demographic mix of members.
With 201,133 members generating 9,382,978 posts of substance (minimal contributions are not allowed) that cover 593,574 topics in 162 different discussion forums, you could say "the truth is in here."
And new content, new ideas, new speculation, and new theories are being generating at an astounding pace with 432 members creating 37,294 new posts during the past seven days. Also, in that same time span, we welcomed 432 new members and enjoyed visits from 8,064 registered members as well as 741,888 guests.
The simple yet effective motto of our membership is "deny ignorance", which signifies an effort to apply the principals of critical thought and peer review to the provocative topics covered within.
And with a highly professional staff of 74 dedicated people, AboveTopSecret.com is renowned for enabling the discussion of nearly anything while insisting on polite civility and respectful decorum.
More than a slogan and deeper than a mission statement, our members have embraced the motto of "Deny Ignorance" as our reson detre, demanding everyone who posts to aspire to a higher standard of participation. These simple two words have galvanized a broad membership base that spans the spectrum from highly speculative conspiracy writers to staunch skeptics. The result is a unique collaboration of diverse individuals rallying under this simple statement to learn from each other, discover new truths, and imagine new ideas that expand minds.
This motto has life. It has purpose. It demands ATS members to think.
It is a state of mind.
It is a sense of purpose.
It is a statement against the paradigm.
It is a rage against the mindless status-quo.
The idea of "deny ignorance" isn't a goal that ATS hopes to accomplish. Instead, it's a challenge. A call to all those who come here to aspire to a higher state of awareness through informed discussion and debate.
Deny ignorance is what we do.
It's how we think. It's how we talk. It's how we listen.
Ignorance is the social disease of history that has clouded our minds and dulled our brains. Is the evil that men do, the reason history repeats, and the cause of intolerance.
We deny it. it's not welcome here. Within these boundaries, it has no strength.
Here, ignorance is denied.
The core "alternative topics" discussion board at AboveTopSecret.com/forum provide our intelligent members with a wide range of topical forums as well a few general business and special-interest collaboration forums.
While our provocative topics certainly provide our users with endless hours of compelling interaction and challenging collaboration, the core features of AboveTopSecret.com are unlike any other discussion board community.
Our free memberships provide a host of services that either require monthly fees within some communities, or simply don't exist anywhere else. They include:
- Secure Messaging: A secure private communication system among members
- Chat: Full-featured members-only chat
- Full Posting: There are no restrictions on "novice" accounts
- Avatars: Members can personalize themselves with the largest avatar space anywhere
- Member Blogs: Any member can get a blog and earn money from running their own ads
- Camera Phone Posting: Members can instantly post interesting sightings and as-it-happens news directly to the discussion board right from their cell phone
- Free Upload Space: Free uploads of graphics and files
- Free Podcasting Service: Any member can become a podcaster just by uploading their MP3 file
- Unique PodThreads: The only place where you can reply to a podcast with a podcast
- Games & Events: There's always a game, contest or event happening
- Organized Debates: A dedicated forum for debate contests
- Revenue Opportunities: Expert members can become a "Conspiracy Master" and earn money from their posts
- Reduced Advertising: Logged-in members see fewer ads
- Self-Determination: Members define the presentation through thread flagging to signify important topics
All of these features come wrapped up in one of the most advanced custom-built discussion board systems. Every aspect of the board is focused on delivering a user-friendly experience with state-of-the-art search engine optimization. This means our member's thoughts, ideas, opinions, and research will be indexed by Google within days and sometimes hours.
And above all, we are well-renowned for operating the most professionally managed discussion board environment that inspires intelligent contributions and meaningful debate.
- We refuse to allow short "drive-by" posting that add nothing to the thread.
- We refuse to allow insults and mayhem that you'll see on many other boards.
- We refuse to allow spam and hate speech.
- We promote intelligent posting.
- We promote productive debate and collaborative discussion.
- We promote the examination of any topic as long as manners are maintained.
- We respect the content of other sites and encourage linking.
- We respect our members' content and defend its credibility and their rights.
Throughout the history of the Internet, nothing has been a dominant "sure thing" like user-generated content. Since the inception, destinations such as usenet, BBS's, and CompuServe have provided people of all types the opportunity to digitally interact on subjects of interest. If the "electricity revolution" of the early part of the last century freed the working body, the digital revolution has freed the thinking mind.
During the early learning cycle of what the Internet would become in the early 90's, pundits, analysts, and critics alike voiced a common concern as the technology raced toward the ability to provide "millions of channels". That concern was "who is going to generate all the content?" Many analysts looked toward an obvious source; the content owners such as television networks, movie studios, and publishers. Others postulated that new professional providers of digital content would emerge to fill the void being created by the rapidly advancing technology. And many "leading thinkers" even suggested that it would all falter because of the lack of a serious content model.
While these learned professionals of consumer habits and digital technology were generating reams of analysis to support their short-sighted opinions, a historic phenomenon was occurring under their very noses. A phenomenon of perfect syncronicity with the digital culture they failed to completely understand, collaboration.
The online culture is one of collaboration, fueled by the ethics of sharing.
If only those experienced pundits and analysts spent quality time with the topics they were analyzing, there may have been an earlier understanding of what the Internet was to become. Born of a need to share scientific papers and nurtured by a government looking to create an unbreakable connection between computers, the core digital culture is a very simple one of collaboration and sharing.
Imagine allowing a complete anonymous stranger access to your hard drive to download material you obtained from another anonymous stranger's hard drive just ten years ago. The phenomenon of Internet file sharing is a prime example of the digital culture. Entire industries and fortunes were built around the simple idea of sharing digital files with anyone who would be interested in them.
The technology of the Web browser and hyper-linked pages was first conceived out of a need to share and collaborate on building information. Hyper-links were initially a means to send readers to external material online, not an internal Web site navigation aid.
Today, with a solid thirty years of online cultural evolution "under our belts", the urge to collaborate and share has infect popular culture well beyond the Internet. With the advent of reality TV, "American Idol", "citizen journalists", and even user-created Super Bowl commercials, the global collaborative culture is mainstream.
As we sit comfortably in 2006, looking back at the last thirty years of digital evolution, we can easily say that the era of user-generated content should have been obvious. You, I, and everyone else have become the content providers the pundits of the 1990's never realized. Blogs, podcasts, vidcasts, social networks, myspace.com, and discussion boards are all examples of the obvious core collaborative content of the habitually sharing digital culture. And among it all, one Web site stands out as a uniquely satisfying intellectual experience for 1.2 million people looking for something different every month, AboveTopSecret.com.
While "conspiracy theorists" are often derided or the target of jokes, the fact remains that Americans love a good conspiracy theory. Many of the more popular and highest grossing movies are based on core ideas of UFO's, government conspiracies and related coverups. The phenomenon of the "X-Files" television show and "Da Vinci Code" novel and movie are excellent examples of how these topics have a inherent soft spot in the culture.
The Internet has provided millions of people the means to examine their attraction to conspiracy theories and share their thoughts, observations, and speculative ideas with like-minded individuals around the globe. Indeed, many have postulated that we're seeing a renaissance of conspiracy theory speculation because of the Internet. Magnified by our often troubling current events of terrorist attacks, 9/11, and political turmoil; Web sites that feature discussion boards invariably have one or more sections that touch on some core conspiracy themes. In fact, it's normal to perform a search-engine search on topics such as 9/11 and discover nearly 90% of the first 1,000 returns are conspiracy-theory-related. There has never been a better time for a professional approach toward encouraging discussion and debate on conspiracy and related "alternative topics."